Classroom Renovation: Learner-Centered Design

In response to the president’s initiative to create a learning-centered campus, Academic Affairs has collaborated with the Physical Plant to renovate a variety of classrooms around the concept of learner-centered design.

In such a classroom, the faculty aims to create an environment where students are active participants in learning, develop themselves independently and collaborate in ways that support the learning efforts of others. There is a body of empirical research to support both the efficacy of such environments as well as the specific criteria that foster the creation of such an environment.

In Academic Affairs, we studied the literature on classroom environments.  We rely on that research, as well as extensive surveys of students and faculty, to guide our renovation decisions. Some of the key elements that we achieve through the renovations are:

  • Flexibility: Using furniture that allows for various configurations of the classroom fosters small group, large group, or seminar capacity in one setting.

  • Technology: Developing a campus standard for technology-enhanced classrooms (computer, projector, document camera, SMART Podium interactive pen display, DVD player) maximizes the learning potential in the classroom and fosters experimentation with technology-enhanced pedagogy.

  • Color and Comfort: As the importance of comfort should not be diminished in relation to the creation of learning-centered spaces, we use carpeting, ergonomically supportive chairs, and vibrant colors that are well received by the students.

  • Sound: The addition of carpet and the replacement of some ceiling tiles reduces unnecessary and distracting sound in the classrooms.

 

Classroom Renovations Phases 1A, 1B, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Classroom Photos: Before and After